Michael Rupp and Jody Shelley drop the gloves in Pittsburgh's home opener, October 7, 2010
The NHL season is in the home stretch, with all teams having 10 or fewer games remaining before the playoffs begin.
This period marks one of the most exciting times in all of sports.
Since the NHL returned from the lockout in 2006, playoff races have become all the more exciting with the addition of the extra point for an overtime loss.
The Penguins have helped themselves stay afloat in the Eastern Conference, despite a slew of injuries, by gaining points in overtime when losing.
The Penguins are dead in the middle of a battle for the Atlantic Division title with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Tonight, the two teams will clash in what is expected to be a great, heavy-hitting, fast-paced game.
Heading into tonight's game, the Philadelphia Flyers lead the Atlantic division with 97 points. The Penguins trail five points behind with 92, which is good enough for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
With nine games left on the season, the Penguins will face off against their division rivals twice in less than a week. Whichever team comes out on top in both contests will have an almost assured chance of winning the Atlantic Division.
The Penguins and Flyers have a long history and hold nothing back when playing each other. Both teams will look to secure home ice during the playoffs and would love to come out on top of the conference.
The Penguins have three games left against potential playoff-bound teams, while the Flyers have five games against potential playoff opponents.
All stats and factors in these two matchups of the cross-state rivals have set the stage for what looks to be a fantastic finish in the NHL regular season.
This impending matchup is sure to provide plenty of excitement—and whether you are a fan of either team or not, as a fan of hockey, this has to be exciting.
So when the puck drops tonight, the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia will be rocking with over 19,000 screaming, passionate fans.
Whether they are Flyers faithful, part of the Orange Crush or Penguins loyalists, all in attendance will be treated to an amazing display of grit, skill and determination.
As former Pittsburgh Penguins head coach "Badger" Bob Jonson said, it's a great day for hockey!